Assessment tasks are the way that students show that they can meet all the outcomes of the subject they study. It helps them provide evidence to first their lecturers and then future employers that they have the skills and knowledge they need to become useful and profitable employees and lifelong learners who are good citizens with a broad perspective on life.

Some questions to ask yourself as you design appropriate assessment tasks are.

Are the tasks aligned to Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)?
Are the tasks Assessment for learning (active tasks) not Assessment of learning? Can students show their capacity to complete requirements of the assessment as they do the tasks through their learning activities?
Are the tasks authentic as Assessment 2020 principles outline?
What other types of assessment tasks are in the course/s? Has the course been mapped to ensure a broad range of experiences across the course?
Are they work related, integrated, or a placement?

Writing a task description isn't easy. You need to think about the questions above and write them clearly to communicate to students exactly what they will be required to submit, contain information about the content and format, and scaffold the components. It might take several iterations. A good practice is to share it with others both in and outside of your discipline, including educational designers and learning skills advisers, to get feedback on its clarity and understandability.


Check a subject you teach. Are the tasks:
Aligned to SLOs?
Assessment for learning (active tasks)?
Authentic tasks (Assessment 2020)?
What other types of assessment tasks are in the course/s?
Are they work related, integrated, or a placement?

Based on your objectives design a task which fits these elements and suits your subject.

These pages created by Deb Murdoch, an Academic Lead on the Student Transition and Retention Program at Charles Sturt University and course and subject analyst in the Faculty of Business.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.